Do you suspect that someone you know and love has a drug problem?
Since 1990, the number of deaths from drug overdose has tripled. Almost 21 million people in the US have an addiction, but only 10 percent receives treatment.
If you think that someone is addicted but you’re not entirely sure, what can you do? Blindly accusing someone of addiction can lead to misunderstandings and fractured relationships.
The signs of addiction can be subtle. However, if you can keep your eyes open and notice them early, you can give your friend or relative the help they need before it’s too late.
Here’s what to look for if you think that someone you love may have an addiction problem.
One of the classic signs of addiction is emotional volatility. They may show erratic behavior and some serious, scary mood swings. With little provocation, their emotional demeanor may change in an instant.
They can have bouts of hysteria or periods of depression. It’s not unusual for someone suffering from substance abuse to touch both ends of the emotional spectrum.
Drugs and alcohol are chemicals that can have both short and long-term effects on the brain. You get that “high” and that feeling of euphoria when you take these substances but that’s just the beginning. Over time, substance abuse can cause dramatic changes in the neurons and circuits of the brain.
These changes can manifest psychologically. Some of the effects of addiction include changes in the sleep pattern, lapses of judgment, and obsessive behavior. When the abuse has become severe, an addict may have hallucinations and suicidal ideation.
Physical Signs of Addiction
One of the first noticeable signs of drug addiction is the alteration of an individual’s physical appearance. The change in the way they look is partly due to the mental toll of substance abuse. You may see signs such as lack of personal hygiene, weight loss or gain, and unexplained injuries.
There are also indicators of recent drug use such as bloodshot eyes and excessive sniffing. If you observe these signs, it’s probably time to make calls to residential treatment centers for a consultation.
Alcohol and drugs have a profound effect on a person’s social relationships and behavior. Their performance at school, work, or home dips considerably. Not only do they neglect their responsibilities but they ignore their friends as well.
A person with a substance abuse disorder can get into arguments for little to no reason. It’s also not uncommon to see them retreat into a shell.
Financial and Legal Troubles
The supply of drugs or alcohol is the number one priority of an addict. They will make financial sacrifices to secure their supply. If they don’t have money, they may even resort to stealing.
They can get into all sorts of legal trouble because of their addiction. They may get arrested for driving under the influence or for disorderly conduct.
How You Can Help
In most cases, those suffering from addiction are unable to dig themselves out of their situation. It’s up to you to notice these signs of addiction so you can extend a helping hand.
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